I Will Miss You Tomorrow by Heine Bakkeid – translated by Anna Bruce – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

The first in a new Norwegian crime series featuring disgraced ex-Chief Inspector Thorkild Aske, a damaged man with a complicated past

Fresh out of prison and a stint in a psychiatric hospital, disgraced ex-policeman Thorkild Aske only wants to lose himself in drugged dreams of his beloved Frei. Wild, unknowable Frei. The woman he loved. The woman he has lost forever.

Yet when Frei’s young cousin goes missing off the Norwegian coast and Thorkild is called in by the family to help find him, dead or alive, Thorkild cannot refuse. He owes them this. 

Tormented by his past, Thorkild soon finds himself deep in treacherous waters. He’s lost his reputation – will he now lose his life?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I’ve read a few Norwegian novels but I have never read anything like I Will Miss You Tomorrow. Aske was a character who like many before him has a private life that is a mess. But his private life has caused him to lose his career as an investigator in internal affairs and placed him in prison. I misunderstood most of his situation initially. When what happened to him was revealed I had a lot more sympathy, respect and liking for him.

It was a book that had me shivering whilst reading. The weather conditions, the freezing cold water, the attitudes and abuse he faced from former friends and colleagues. I learned more about certain medical conditions than I expected, drug dependency and Norwegian village life. I read the most graphic description of an autopsy I have ever read , where I could practically smell the body.

It is a crime novel with a supernatural slant. Not too much, just enough to unsettle me and question whether it was a hallucination or ‘reality’. Aske is one of the more intriguing characters I have met, I hope I don’t have to wait too long for book two.

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson – Review.

About The Book

It starts as a game at a book group one night. Never Have I Ever… done something I shouldn’t. 

But Amy Whey has done something she shouldn’t. And Roux, the glamorous newcomer to Amy’s suburban neighbourhood, knows exactly what that is.

Roux promises she will go away – if Amy plays by her rules. 

But Amy isn’t prepared to lose everything. She’s going to fight back, and in this escalating game of cat and mouse, there can be only one winner.

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I rarely read samplers but when I first saw the first chapter of this book was available I had just finished another book so I decided to read it. And what a fantastic opening chapter it was. Full of threat, manipulation and a small taste of what the rest of the book could bring. It is one of the better opening chapters I have read this year.

The small book group is not prepared for the havoc that Roux can cause but Amy is tough and is not prepared to give in without a fight. Even though much of the book focuses on the battle of wills between Amy and Roux, she doesn’t stop there. All of them have secrets they need to protect.

One of the stronger parts of the novel, disregarding the storyline was the relationships that Amy had with her husband Davis, step daughter Maddy, friends Char and Tig and of course Roux. Her childhood was a tough one and she was determined not to have her family suffer the way she did. She had a tough choice, risk Davis and Maddy find out what happened to her or do as Roux demands and have others suffer. There are plenty of twists. a lot of guilt but there is also humour. Especially from Davis and Maddy. I liked the nickname ‘Monster’ that Maddy had for Amy, a sign that she was far from being one.

A brilliant storyline, great characters and the parts that described life under water was visually beautiful.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell – Blog Tour Review.

About The Book

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation. 

He is also a complete fraud.

Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now. 

An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building. 

The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?

My Review

With thanks to the publisher for the copy received. I enjoy reading legal thrillers and obviously find some better than others. Beyond Reasonable Doubt is definitely one of the better ones that I have read.

Rook is silk and he isn’t like any of the others he works with. He isn’t Eton educated and he has a dubious past that he is determined will stay hidden. When he takes on a junior who is from the area he is brought up in and simultaneously is forced into defending a man from his past it appears that everything will be revealed.

One of the reasons this novel works so well is because Rook obviously has problems. There is his past, which only a few are aware of, his marital breakdown, his drinking and his weight. This isn’t a man who is clean and guilt free. He doesn’t have many friends in his profession and it doesn’t bother him. Zara, his junior, is the only one he really gets on with.

The case itself is a grim one. Racism at its worst and it’s something you expect to read about on a daily basis. The language and threat made me cringe and I had to admire Zara for putting up with it.

I liked the Nottingham setting. A mining community that no longer exists and has no prospects. Lives ruined, tragic events leading to loss of life and something I had never even considered and wondered if it was true. Football chants aimed at strike breakers. 

I would definitely read another in this series. 

The Corset by Laura Purcell – Review.

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About the Book

Is prisoner Ruth Butterham mad or a murderer? Victim or villain?

Dorothea and Ruth.

Prison visitor and prisoner. Powerful and powerless.

Dorothea Truelove is young, wealthy and beautiful. Ruth Butterham is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder.

When Dorothea’s charitable work leads her to Oakgate Prison, she is delighted with the chance to explore her fascination with phrenology and test her hypothesis that the shape of a person’s skull can cast a light on their darkest crimes. But when she meets teenage seamstress Ruth, she is faced with another theory: that it is possible to kill with a needle and thread. For Ruth attributes her crimes to a supernatural power inherent in her stitches.

The story Ruth has to tell of her deadly creations – of bitterness and betrayal, of death and dresses – will shake Dorothea’s belief in rationality, and the power of redemption.

Can Ruth be trusted? Is she mad, or a murderer?

My Review

The Corset is a book that contains everything I love in fiction. Historical crime with a gothic twist. It also is convincing portrayal of how difficult it was for those who lived in poverty and the attitudes towards women at the time.
The two women concerned, Dorothea who is a wealthy and single socialite is fascinated by phrenology. She engages in good deeds at the women’s prison and uses the women there to learn more about it. Ruth is one of the young women who she meets and she is the one who intrigues her the most. Because she has been accused of and admitted to murder. The method that Ruth describes is different to every type of murder and as you read her story more is revealed.
I preferred Ruth’s story by a long way. Her tragic childhood and then her experiences at the hands of her employers were eye-opening. More so, because I felt that this was an accurate account of what it would have been like for many. Some of the things that happened to her I had to research myself. I had heard of them but not by the names they were known in the book.
It took me longer to warm to Dorothea. I did have sympathy but at times I found her selfish and condescending. But with her family background and the way she was controlled by her father it got easier to understand her. At times she seemed cold and a little bitter but then I could see a softer side as well. If she was allowed to do what interested her and be with who she wanted she would probably have been completely different.
At times it was creepy but not as much as I expected. Most of the time I thought Ruth’s ‘talent’ was in her head apart from certain events that did happen. I did guess at some of the eventual outcome but there was one part I didn’t see coming and it was one of the better finales in books I have read this year. That much, I read the last chapter again.
I read this book as serialised fiction via pigeonhole so I would like to thank both them and the publisher for the copy received.

The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stu Turton – Review.

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About the Book

‘Somebody’s going to be murdered at the ball tonight. It won’t appear to be a murder and so the murderer won’t be caught. Rectify that injustice and I’ll show you the way out.’

It is meant to be a celebration but it ends in tragedy. As fireworks explode overhead, Evelyn Hardcastle, the young and beautiful daughter of the house, is killed.

But Evelyn will not die just once. Until Aiden – one of the guests summoned to Blackheath for the party – can solve her murder, the day will repeat itself, over and over again. Every time ending with the fateful pistol shot.

The only way to break this cycle is to identify the killer. But each time the day begins again, Aiden wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is determined to prevent him ever escaping Blackheath…

My Review

I really don’t know where to begin in reviewing this book. I can honestly say I found it a fascinating but exhausting read. And it is one that I only really appreciated how clever it was a few days after finishing it.
I don’t want to say much about the plot. It is one of those books where everybody who reads it will see it differently.
So, I loved the description of the family home that had fallen into disrepair, a common event in the time in which I decided the novel takes place. The characters are a mixed bag. The most likeable were those from the lower classes, at least they were the only ones who had any morals or thought for anybody else. Because Aiden ‘adopts’ so many differing personalities you see them for what they really are, not the image they show to everybody else. But my favourite character by a long way was the Plague Doctor. It has been a long time since I met a character so mesmerising.
I did try to make notes whilst reading but gave up. I had been advised that the print book was easier to read than the e-book because of the maps,and some said it was easier to follow. There were times though when I was flicking back through the book and that would have been easier on my kindle.
I felt that some of the characters were more modern than others and one of my theories about this was later proven wrong. But it is a book which I would definitely like to read again. Just to see whether I read it differently knowing what happens at the end.
I read this book with three other readers as part of a ‘buddy read’. we chatted throughout, coming up with multiple explanations.

They were:

Janet from fromfirstpagetolast.wordpress.com/

Kate from bibliophilebookclub.com/

Vicki from off-the-shelfbooks.blogspot.co.uk/

You can purchase the book here